Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Cash-Only Status Changes: New Credit Card; New Rules?

Cash has ruled my house. We've paid cash for everything, with help from our debit card, check book and generous financing from extended family.

But with the recent arrival of our new credit card that all changes. Actually, no! We plan to ignore the card, except for emergencies.

An emergency is not:

1) A too-busy, too-tired-to cook restaurant meal or take-out pizza
2) An end-of-season clothing sale
3) Last-minute birthday presents
4) Cool new CD: Let's try it.
5) Hair appointments
6) Manicure, facial or other so-called R&R treatments

Those so-called emergency expenses led to a large financial debt load when I was younger and I plan to avoid the credit money pit by:

1) paying off any charges within 30 days to avoid interest costs
2) reading the contract very carefully
3) scanning my credit card statement for unusual fees or activity
4) reading the Carnival of Debt Reduction every week.
5) staying on top of the debates and hearings about credit card fees in Congress. There's a push to force credit card companies to give consumers a better deal.

This item from USA Today outlines the new so-called "kinder & gentler" fee rules from credit card companies.

"In a break for consumers, major banks are rethinking — and in some cases
dropping — a handful of credit card policies that have been widely
criticized. " --USA Today

I also enjoyed this piece from Reuters:

Credit cards promise clear, simple language...from Reuters

The Frugal Duchess Booktique
The Frugal Duchess of Beauty Store
Book Shop of Fear
The Poetry & Drama Queen
Frugal Jazz & Blues



marcia siegel said...


We are the owners of A&B Enterprises dba Fantasyline. We had been in business for 23 years. Our business was adult talk lines. We have always used live operators to screen our callers and verify bank information. We had excellent fraud control and verification procedures. Our primary form of payment was VISA and MasterCard. We had various merchant accounts. Initially we had merchant accounts with banks. At some point these banks discontinued telephone order processing and or credit card processing so we switched to third party processors etc. Our merchant accounts never had a bad mark against them. They were never cancelled due to chargebacks.

Our last processor was Online Data in Westchester IL. In December 2004 they informed us that they had to switch our account. In April 2005 they stated they could not switch our account because we sold downloadable DVD’s. This was false. We enclosed a letter to that effect to Online Data. The letter did no good and Online Data informed us that due to the nature of our business they could no longer process our charges.

Online Data recommended we contact Nelix to find a merchant account. Nelix refereed us to ECS World UK. This arrangement did not work out as ECS World UK failed to pay us monies owed.

Due to the loss of our merchant account we had to close our business. Online Data claimed that they were being forced to close all Adult Oriented Web Businesses by Visa and Mastercard International and Chase JP Morgan Bank. Fantasyline never was a Web Business. Closing our business abruptly caused us severe hardship.

All deprived us of our livelihood. Aside from depriving us of our livelihood and the complications that caused, we always paid high merchant fees.

Marcia Siegel

shannon said...

it really seems like you've really thought out your decision and have a good plan on how to handle your new credit card. it can be so difficult, to try to be good with them, especially since every business now processes credit cards. good luck in your new credit card venture!